Grilling isn't just for meat. It makes veggies mouth-wateringly irresistible! Grab zucchini, tomatoes, eggplant, corn on the cob, peppers, onions, mushrooms and even leafy greens at a Harvest Home Farmer's Market. Give them extra taste while you avoid cooking dishes to go with that BBQ-ed meat. A great way to cut down your labor on Labor Day!
Grilling tricks for deliciousness and health:
Marinating before you grill.Marinating adds subtle flavor, brings out the veggies' flavor and holds in the nutrition. Store bought marinade should contain either olive or canola oil. Olive and canola oil cling to veggies while they grill preventing smoking or flaming which are not healthy. Make your own marinade (See recipes below.) Mix veggies and marinade together. Refrigerate for ½ hour to an hour, but no more than 8 hours (or they get mushy).
Just the right size:Cut large veggies like eggplant or zucchini length-wise or in rounds for more grilling surface area. Use skewers for small veggies like cherry tomatoes, tomatillos or peppers. Or loosely wrap small veggies or pieces of cut-up veggies in aluminum foil. For more tips, go to http://www.eatingwell.com/article/109517/5-tips-for-how-to-cook-grilled-vegetables-perfectly/
Where to put a veggie on the grill: "If it cooks for 20 minutes or less, put it on the grate directly over the flames. If you need to cook it for 20 minutes or more, keep the veggies away from direct heat." (E. Karmel: Taming the Flame)
Our Favorite:Corn on the cob, cooked in the husk! Remove the silk from the top of the ear. Soak in a bowl of water with 1 tablespoon of salt for 10 minutes. Put on medium hot grill, close lid and grill for 15 to 20 minutes, turning every 5 minutes.
Sit back and enjoy. Maybe all you'll have to do is give out napkins!
RECIPES: Grilled Veggies for a Crowd
Served hot off the grill, warm later in a day or cold straight from the fridge 3 days later. -From Food Network
3 red bell peppers, seeded and halved
3 yellow squash (about 1 pound total), sliced lengthwise into ½-inch-thick rectangles
3 zucchini (about 12 ounces total), sliced lengthwise into ½-inch-thick rectangles
3 Japanese eggplant (12 ounces total), sliced lengthwise into ½-inch-thick rectangles
12 cremini mushrooms
1 bunch (1-pound) asparagus, trimmed
12 green onions, roots cut off
¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves
1 teaspoon chopped fresh basil leaves
½ teaspoon finely chopped fresh rosemary leaves
Prepare the barbecue (medium-high heat).
Brush the vegetables with ¼ cup of the oil to coat lightly. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Working in batches, grill the vegetables until tender and lightly charred all over, about 8 to 10 minutes for the bell peppers; 7 minutes for the yellow squash, zucchini, eggplant, and mushrooms; 4 minutes for the asparagus and green onions. Arrange the vegetables on a platter. Want grill marks? Don't shift the vegetables too frequently once they've been placed on the hot grill.
Meanwhile, mix the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, balsamic vinegar, garlic, parsley, basil, and rosemary in a small bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle the herb mixture over the vegetables.
TIPS: For Greater Grilling Success and Creativity
Clean grill thoroughly with a brush before using, making sure there is nothing left from the last grilling.
Lightly brush your grill with olive oil to prevent sticking;
Using olive oil or canola oil is recommended as both of these tend to prevent unhealthy smoking or "flaming" while grilling.
Marinade veggies for at least ½ hour, but no more than 8 hours.
Add extra fresh chopped herbs the last few minutes of grilling or just before you serve your dish to increase flavor.
Marinade Magic:Soak veggies in different marinades to create new dishes that help you eat more veggies.
Savory Summer: Especially good if grilling tomatoes. Mix together 2/3 cup of olive oil, 1/3 cup Balsamic vinegar, ½ cup of finely chopped onion (try red onion), 1 Tablespoon of fresh basil, 1 teaspoon minced garlic, salt and pepper to taste. Soak veggies for 2 hours. Excellent on chicken, too.
Slightly Asian: Mix together ½ cup of olive oil; ½ cup of low sodium soy sauce and ½ of lemon juice with 1 crushed clove of garlic. Soak for about an hour. Also good on chicken.
Spicy Orange and Cilantro: Mix together 4 tablespoon of olive oil, 2 tablespoons orange juice, 2 tablespoon orange marmalade, 2 tablespoons of chopped fresh cilantro and 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes.
Light Lemony: Mix together 2 tablespoon olive oil, 4 tablespoon lemon juice, 2 tablespoon of lemon zest, 1 teaspoon of finely chopped garlic.
Don't forget the Fruit: Grilling fruit caramelizes the sugar.
Large fruits like peaches, bananas, plantain, pineapple, apples and even melon are best and make a delicious dessert. Try some of these ideas at https://www.thespruceeats.com/top-grilled-fruit-recipes-334503
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